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MA in Experimental Digital Media at University of Waterloo

Critique. Create. Compute.

with Waterloo’s new MA in Experimental Digital Media

The University of Waterloo’s Department of English Language and Literature has launched a unique Master’s program. The MA in Experimental Digital Media (XDM) is a lab-based, hands-on program for people who want to explore the challenges, limits, and freedoms of existing digital technologies and produce objects and practices that will make people think. Centred on Waterloo’s Critical Media Lab, XDM combines practical lab-based design work with the study of relevant critical and media theory. Rather than merely analyse the products of existing digital media, or create new media for already defined goals, students on the course explore the creation of digital objects informed by critical and theoretical perspectives. It’s a program that draws together technical digital media skills, theoretical understanding, and the creative and interpretative skills fostered by the humanities.

XDM students take 6 courses from a varied slate that includes courses on digital media, rhetorical theory and literary studies. The program concludes with a Major Research/Creation Project proposed by the student and supervised by a member of faculty. Major Research/Creation Projects involve students in the design, conception or production of objects-to-think-with, evocative objects that focus attention on key cultural and theoretical issues in the humanities.   

All students on the program are members of Waterloo’s Critical Media Lab, an exciting new cross-disciplinary space dedicated to new media projects that explore the impact of technology on the human condition.

Applications are welcome from all interested students with BA Honours degree in English or another relevant discipline (or the international equivalent). The program can be taken full-time or part-time, or as part of Waterloo’s unique Co-op program, in which students alternate terms of academic study with work terms designed to provide them with relevant skills and experience.

Waterloo provides funding for all MA students arriving with an 80% average in their final two years of study. In addition to our standard funding, all XDM entrants are eligible for special Graduate entrance awards funded by Research in Motion.

For further information, see the Department’s graduate studies webpage:

For information on the Critical Media Lab, see:


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